There you are in the local grocery store and you think to yourself, “Do I need milk? Do I have lettuce?” So you pull out your phone and connect to the tablet located in your fridge door at home. Abracadabra! You will see inside the main part of your fridge. You can check to see everything except the things that are normally stored on the door. No matter how you look at it, it’s magical.
Every time you open and close the fridge door, it takes a snapshot of the inside of the fridge,” said Sunny Grewal, sales manager at Trail Appliances.
The fridge Grewal refers to is the newest technology from Samsung and it’s not cheap. It costs about five times the cost of a regular refrigerator. The double-door Samsung Family Hub Fridge is 22 x 24 cubic feet with the same depth as most other fridges.
“We’ve had it on the floor for about six months. People – even us sales staff – come and look at it. Samsung is now coming out with even more options,” Grewal said.
The current model’s tablet has internet connections, and does more than allow you to see if you have run out of stuff. You may choose to leave a note on the tablet for anyone using the refrigerator outlining what is needed from the store. Your kids might leave a note, “More ketchup Mom!” Or depending upon their age, “More beer!”
“It’s an Internet notebook. Samsung can connect and monitor all the products you normally have in your fridge,” Grewal said.
Top-of-the-line ovens by Dacor and Jenn-Air also feature fully functioning tablets that allow you to pull up recipes or how-to-cook information. For example you might ask the Siri on your stove tablet how to cook a roast. Then it supplies recipes. You put the temperature probe in the meat and the tablet informs you when it is cooked.
“You can pull up recipes or you can pull up music. If your guests are out on the deck, you can join them and monitor the meal in the oven from your app. You don’t have to stand inside and cook,” said Grewal.
On a smaller appliance scale, Escali makes a scale that connects to an app on your phone. The scale will calculate all the nutrition information in the food you weigh.
“It weighs food, provides nutritional data and it’s a food journal,” said Christy Martyn, of Barb’s Kitchen Store in Edmonton. “It even helps you calculate calories.”
Hole’s, at the Enjoy Centre has a small gadget to amplify sound from your cellphone. Made of glass, the item is just a bit taller than a cellphone, and it has a middle slot for that phone. On either side there are slots for two small plants. Put music on your phone, put it in its slot, and listen to your favourite song. The glass behind the phone magnifies the sound volume.
High tech devices are helping throughout the home. An internet search of Smart Home technology shows everything from robotic vacuum cleaners and lawn mowers to talking pill bottles that tell you when to take your meds. You may find garbage cans with sensors for your kitchen or bathroom. Just wave your hand over the lid and it opens.
Samsung makes a curved screen television to make it easier to watch TV from anywhere in the room. The screen is made to cut the glare.
Amazon makes a hands-free speaker that is controlled by your voice. You can use the Amazon Echo to send or receive texts, check the weather or dim the lights.
Amazon also makes an item called Petcube. Using this device you can check up on your dog while you are at work. If Rover is chewing the baseboards, you can watch it happen on Petcube.
Who knows where all this is going? Maybe soon Rover will be able to tell the fridge tablet that he would like some beef bones. Soon there will be a robot-maid to cook supper too.
“You almost don’t need the cook. You need to physically put it in the oven, but that’s all,” said Grewal.